How to balance Ice Life and Continent Life

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    Hey, all…

    I had an absolute BLAST down at McM last summer and almost considered wintering at the end, but things could be worked out. I’ve talked with my Ice Supervisor about signing a w/o contract and that has been done (as far as can be planned at this time).

    What do you folks do with your houses in the States (or NZ) when you’re away on the Ice? When I left last summer, my parents just kept an eye on my place while I was paying mortgage and bills from down South. Anyone tried renting out unfurnished for the time your gone and moving your personal stuff in to stuff either with family members or storage centers?

    AGEDave or Mike Poole — I’d like your input on this. I’m trying to gauge how feasible a winter-over stint would be since I have a house and dog. The dog is the least of the worries — my puppy would go to her “grandparents” until I got back.




    Hi Brandon,

    In past years I’ve 1) left my house empty, 2) got a house-sitter, 3) had my girlfriend live there, and 4) rented it out on several occasions, not necessarily in that order.

    – I didn’t like leaving it empty. ‘Nuff said.

    – The house-sitter was a great option if you know someone trustworthy. But if things go wrong there isn’t a lot of recourse. It worked well for me, YMMV.

    – The girlfriend was great. If you have a significant-other or relative that needs a place to live, that would be my first choice.

    – Renting it out has been both good and bad, and is definitely the most hassle. You’ll need a place to store your belongings, plus you need to move everything out, clean the place, etc. (Furnished rentals are hard to fill in my area.) It’s a huge expense and burden right when you’re trying to deploy. If you get a bad tenant (and I have) while you’re on the Ice it is a NIGHTMARE. My recommendation, if you decide to rent it out, is to use a property management service… it eliminates a lot of heartburn. Another caveat is that there may be problems finding a renter, depending on where you live.

    Right now I’m working and going to school in another state — I might as well be on the Ice. I have my house rented out and most everything in storage… I don’t like doing this, but given the housing market (and length of time I’ll be away) there wasn’t much choice.

    Food for thought…


    Not Ice specific, but I’m working in NJ right now and still have my house in Florida. I have the house in Fl rented out with most of my stuff here in NJ but some stuff still in the house like my piano, kitchen table, lawn furniture…
    Its a lifesaver when the tenants pay the rent, or most of it, but they are slowly getting further behind. I think I’m still happier having them in there than the house being empty because they are reasonably good people, just not particularly fiscally smart. House is maintained, doesn’t get broken into and stripped which would likely happen if it was vacant (at least in Fl these days).
    Your experience will likely be a roll of the dice if you choose to rent on what kind of people you get in unless its family (which can be worse of course).
    If you do rent, be sure to choose quality of renters over rent, but also know that too low a rent will attract renters that you may not want.
    A significant other would likely be the safest choice unless you have started dating my exes.


    Well, we didn’t own a house while we we were wintering. My wife and I both went to the ice and it left us with pretty much debt free and no expenses. Now Lories stays here with the house while I leave. That is sort of like the girlfriend option.
    Another option I’ve seen a few do is to find a house sitter. A student you know, someone from the opposite ice contract, ect and let them live there for free if they keep the place up and pay their own utility bills. It’s kind of in the middle of the option. You get the house back after 9 months and they go back to the ice.
    I would say if you are renting out your house, It would pay to use a property manager. Let them deal with the hassels. I’ve heard nightmares of things that go wrong and you can’t be there. I think now, if we both went down, I would either do the house sitter thing or get a manager.



    @spidey wrote:

    A significant other would likely be the safest choice unless you have started dating my exes.

    well said! 😆 😆 😆

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